All that said, I don’t think that most people have as rigid a concept of how time works as they might think. Witness the following.
A few hours ago I received a phone call from next year. I don’t mean that I got a message from the Bosses about what was going to happen next year. I mean that my cell phone rang and the call was from 2007, while I am still in 2006. At first glance that sounds awfully crazy. But some of you may have already figured out what I am talking about.
Regular readers of BarkingShaman might remember that my partner Summerwind is in New Zealand for three weeks (now closer to two). He called me a few hours ago to wish me a happy new year. Where I am it is the afternoon of December 31st 2006. Where he is it is midday on January 1st 2007. Hence I was talking to someone from 2007 while I was still in 2006. Surely that makes perfect sense, a rigid concept of time should allow that, right?
However, the more you try to parse it out, the less sense it starts to make, not more. Summer and I exist on the same point of the time stream, what we think of as “now.” But a concept of time that allows “now” to be many different times doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. How can now be 5:50pm on the 31st here AND be 11:50am tomorrow (from my perspective)? We accept that that is the reality, but do we try to understand it? I don’t think most people are very comfortable trying to do so. If something in the world happens, such as an election. The people in New Zealand don’t get the results before we do, even though they live in “the future.” Rather it just happens on a different day.
Look at it this way. If the terrorist attacks of 9/11 had included simultaneous strikes in multiple parts of the world, some countries would mourn the tragedy of 9/11, while others would mourn the tragedy of 9/12, even though the attacks would have happened at the same “time.”
We manage to maintain in our minds two separate ideas of time and how it works. One concept is built around the idea of a universal “now.” That is the place on the stream of time which lies between the past and the future, and is occupied by our reality. The other concept is built around clocks and the relatively arbitrary baseline of Zulu (GMT/UTC). This other concept of time, which bases our idea of “now” in relation to Zulu time is what allows for the idea of it being different times in different parts of the world (24 parts actually). Although the two ideas should be incompatible, we maintain both in our minds and function just fine using one or the other when convenient.
Every now and then though, the two collide. My conversation with Summer was a good instance. It was simultaneously the 31st and the 1st. Yet obviously we were communicating in real time, or as close as transmission lag would allow.
I could go on further about this subject, but I don’t know if I could achieve any greater clarity in doing so than I have already done (or failed to do, you decide). The possibilities that this conflict raises are profound. If we really can maintain two disparate time concepts in our minds, surely we can maintain more than two. My experiences with Var have showed me that the possibilities are truly endless when one ventures into the realm of time. Interestingly, a dictionary search (as I just discovered) of the word “var” notes that it is the root word for words describing multiples, such as “various” or “variable” or “variation.”
As spirit workers and/or magicians, I believe, and so does the rest of Clan Tashlin, that we have an obligation to try to examine our spiritual or spirit driven insights with regards to how they interact with the modern world around us. As spirit workers, we sometimes get glimpses “behind the curtain” at the way the machinery of our existence works. In the last few years I have heard about several theories of experimental math or physics that describe many of the same concepts of time and the fabric of reality that Var has tried to explain to us.
I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand how times works. At the very least not while I am shackled to this meat-puppet and meat-brain perspective of corporeal existence. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t be awed by the fact that it does in fact seem to work, or at least our brains trick us into thinking that it does.